504 Absolutely Essential Words

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definitions & notes only words
  1. abandon
    forsake; leave behind
  2. abide
    dwell
  3. abolish
    do away with
  4. abroad
    to or in a foreign country
  5. absorb
    take in a liquid
  6. absurd
    inconsistent with reason or logic or common sense
  7. abundant
    present in great quantity
  8. abuse
    cruel or inhumane treatment
  9. accurate
    characterized by perfect conformity to fact or truth
  10. acknowledge
    declare to be true or admit the existence or reality of
  11. addict
    to cause to become dependent
  12. adequate
    having the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task
  13. adolescent
    a juvenile between the onset of puberty and maturity
  14. alter
    cause to change; make different
  15. amateur
    someone who pursues a study or sport as a pastime
  16. ambush
    concealing yourself and lying in wait to attack by surprise
  17. annual
    occurring every year
  18. anticipate
    regard something as probable or likely
  19. appeal
    earnest or urgent request
  20. appoint
    assign a duty, responsibility, or obligation to
  21. approach
    move towards
  22. appropriate
    suitable for a particular person, place, or situation
  23. architect
    someone who creates plans to be used in making something
  24. assemble
    create by putting components or members together
  25. attract
    exert a force on
  26. audible
    heard or perceptible by the ear
  27. authority
    the power or right to give orders or make decisions
  28. avoid
    stay away from
  29. aware
    having or showing knowledge or understanding or realization
  30. awesome
    inspiring admiration or wonder
  31. awkward
    lacking grace or skill in manner or movement or performance
  32. bachelor
    a man who has never been married
  33. baffle
    be a mystery or bewildering to
  34. baggage
    cases used to carry belongings when traveling
  35. bait
    something used to lure fish or other animals
  36. ban
    prohibit especially by law or social pressure
  37. beckon
    summon with a wave, nod, or some other gesture
  38. beneficiary
    the recipient of funds or other advantages
  39. betray
    deliver to an enemy by treachery
  40. bewildered
    perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
  41. bigamy
    the offense of marrying someone while you have a spouse
  42. biography
    an account of the series of events making up a person's life
  43. blunder
    an embarrassing mistake
  44. brawl
    to quarrel noisily, angrily or disruptively
  45. brutal
    resembling a beast; showing lack of human sensibility
  46. budget
    a summary of intended expenditures
  47. bulky
    of large size for its weight
  48. burden
    weight to be borne or conveyed
  49. calamity
    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
  50. calculate
    make a mathematical computation
  51. campus
    a field on which the buildings of a university are situated
  52. cancel
    declare null and void
  53. candidate
    someone who is considered for something
  54. capacity
    capability to perform or produce
  55. capsule
    a small container
  56. captive
    a person who is confined; especially a prisoner of war
  57. casual
    without or seeming to be without plan or method; offhand
  58. caution
    judiciousness in avoiding harm or danger
  59. cease
    put an end to a state or an activity
  60. censor
    a person authorized to suppress unacceptable material
  61. century
    a period of 100 years
  62. challenge
    a call to engage in a contest or fight
  63. charity
    an institution set up to provide help to the needy
  64. chiropractor
    a therapist who practices chiropractic
  65. cinema
    a medium that disseminates moving pictures
  66. circulate
    move through a system and return to the starting point
  67. clergy
    the entire class of religious officials
  68. client
    someone who pays for goods or services
  69. coeducational
    attended by members of both sexes
  70. coincide
    happen simultaneously
  71. collapse
    break down, literally or metaphorically
  72. colleague
    an associate that one works with
  73. collide
    crash together with violent impact
  74. commence
    set in motion, cause to start
  75. commend
    present as worthy of regard, kindness, or confidence
  76. commuter
    someone who travels regularly to and from work
  77. compel
    force somebody to do something
  78. compete
    engage in a contest or measure oneself against others
  79. complacent
    contented to a fault with oneself or one's actions
  80. comprehend
    get the meaning of something
  81. comprehensive
    including all or everything
  82. conceal
    prevent from being seen or discovered
  83. conclude
    bring to a close
  84. confident
    having or marked by assurance
  85. confine
    place limits on
  86. confirm
    strengthen
  87. conflict
    an open clash between two opposing groups
  88. consider
    think about carefully; weigh
  89. contagious
    capable of being transmitted by infection
  90. corpse
    the dead body of a human being
  91. crafty
    marked by skill in deception
  92. culprit
    someone or something responsible for harm or wrongdoing
  93. customary
    commonly used or practiced
  94. data
    a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn
  95. daze
    confusion characterized by lack of clarity
  96. debate
    a discussion with reasons for and against some proposal
  97. debtor
    a person who owes a creditor
  98. decade
    a period of 10 years
  99. deceive
    cause someone to believe an untruth
  100. decrease
    a change downward
  101. defect
    a failing or deficiency
  102. defiant
    boldly resisting authority or an opposing force
  103. defraud
    deprive of by deceit
  104. dejected
    affected or marked by low spirits
  105. deliberate
    carefully thought out in advance
  106. delinquent
    a young offender
  107. denounce
    speak out against
  108. dense
    having high compaction or concentration
  109. depart
    go away or leave
  110. depict
    give a description of
  111. deprive
    take away
  112. descend
    move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way
  113. despite
    contemptuous disregard
  114. detect
    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
  115. detest
    dislike intensely
  116. detour
    a roundabout road or route
  117. devise
    arrange by systematic planning and united effort
  118. devour
    eat immoderately
  119. dilemma
    state of uncertainty in a choice between unfavorable options
  120. diminish
    decrease in size, extent, or range
  121. disaster
    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
  122. discard
    anything that is cast aside
  123. disclose
    expose to view as by removing a cover
  124. dismal
    causing dejection
  125. dispute
    the act of coming into conflict
  126. disrupt
    make a break in
  127. distress
    a state of adversity
  128. document
    a representation of a person's thinking with symbolic marks
  129. doubt
    the state of being unsure of something
  130. dread
    fearful expectation or anticipation
  131. drench
    cover with liquid; pour liquid onto
  132. drought
    a shortage of rainfall
  133. duplicate
    a copy that corresponds to an original exactly
  134. dwindle
    become smaller or lose substance
  135. economical
    using the minimum of time or resources for effectiveness
  136. editor
    the person who determines the final content of a text
  137. elevate
    raise from a lower to a higher position
  138. eliminate
    end, take out, or do away with
  139. embrace
    squeeze tightly in your arms, usually with fondness
  140. emerge
    come out into view, as from concealment
  141. encourage
    inspire with confidence
  142. endure
    undergo or be subjected to
  143. enormous
    extraordinarily large in size or extent or degree
  144. envy
    a desire to have something that is possessed by another
  145. epidemic
    a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease
  146. essential
    basic and fundamental
  147. estimate
    judge tentatively
  148. evade
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing
  149. event
    something that happens at a given place and time
  150. evidence
    knowledge on which to base belief
  151. exaggerate
    enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
  152. excel
    distinguish oneself
  153. excessive
    beyond normal limits
  154. exempt
    freed from or not subject to an obligation or liability
  155. exhaust
    wear out completely
  156. exhibit
    show; make visible or apparent
  157. expand
    extend in one or more directions
  158. expensive
    high in price or charging high prices
  159. explore
    travel to or penetrate into
  160. expose
    show; make visible or apparent
  161. extract
    remove, usually with some force or effort
  162. famine
    a severe shortage of food resulting in starvation and death
  163. feeble
    pathetically lacking in force or effectiveness
  164. feminine
    associated with women and not with men
  165. fertile
    capable of reproducing
  166. fiction
    a literary work based on the imagination
  167. fierce
    marked by extreme and violent energy
  168. final
    an examination administered at the end of an academic term
  169. finance
    the commercial activity of providing funds and capital
  170. flee
    run away quickly
  171. flexible
    able to bend easily
  172. forbid
    command against
  173. fortunate
    having unexpected good luck
  174. fragile
    easily broken or damaged or destroyed
  175. frank
    characterized by directness in manner or speech
  176. frequent
    coming at short intervals or habitually
  177. frigid
    extremely cold
  178. fugitive
    someone who is sought by law officers
  179. gallant
    having or displaying great dignity or nobility
  180. glance
    take a brief look at
  181. gleam
    a flash of light
  182. glimpse
    a brief or incomplete view
  183. gloomy
    depressingly dark
  184. grateful
    feeling or showing thankfulness
  185. guide
    someone employed to conduct others
  186. harmony
    compatibility in opinion and action
  187. harsh
    disagreeable to the senses
  188. harvest
    the gathering of a ripened crop
  189. hasty
    excessively quick
  190. hazy
    filled or abounding with fog or mist
  191. heed
    careful attention
  192. heir
    a person entitled by law to inherit the estate of another
  193. hesitate
    pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
  194. hinder
    be an obstacle to
  195. homicide
    the killing of a human being by another human being
  196. horrid
    grossly offensive to decency or morality
  197. humid
    containing or characterized by a great deal of water vapor
  198. identify
    recognize as being
  199. idle
    not in action or at work
  200. idol
    a material effigy that is worshipped
  201. ignite
    cause to start burning
  202. ignore
    refuse to acknowledge
  203. illegal
    prohibited by law or by official or accepted rules
  204. illustrate
    depict with a visual representation
  205. indifference
    the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care
  206. ingenious
    showing inventiveness and skill
  207. inhabit
    live in; be a resident of
  208. innovative
    being like nothing done or experienced or created before
  209. insist
    be emphatic or resolute and refuse to budge
  210. jagged
    having a sharply uneven surface or outline
  211. jealous
    suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival
  212. jeopardize
    pose a threat to; present a danger to
  213. jest
    activity characterized by good humor
  214. jolly
    full of or showing high-spirited merriment
  215. journalist
    a person who writes or broadcasts news stories
  216. justice
    the quality of being just or fair
  217. juvenile
    of or relating to children or young people
  218. keen
    intense or sharp
  219. keg
    small cask or barrel
  220. kneel
    rest one's weight on one's knees
  221. lack
    the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable
  222. lecture
    a speech that is open to the public
  223. legend
    a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events
  224. legible
    capable of being read or deciphered
  225. linger
    remain present although waning or gradually dying
  226. logical
    based on known statements or events or conditions
  227. lottery
    a game in which players buy chances to win
  228. loyalty
    the quality of being steadfast in allegiance or duty
  229. lubricate
    make slippery or smooth
  230. lunatic
    an insane person
  231. magnify
    increase in size, volume or significance
  232. maim
    injure or wound seriously and leave permanent disfiguration
  233. maintain
    keep in a certain state, position, or activity
  234. majestic
    having or displaying great dignity or nobility
  235. majority
    the main part
  236. manipulate
    influence or control shrewdly or deviously
  237. masculine
    associated with men and not with women
  238. matrimony
    state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life
  239. mature
    having reached full natural growth or development
  240. maximum
    the greatest or most complete or best possible
  241. mediocre
    moderate to inferior in quality
  242. menace
    something that is a source of danger
  243. merit
    the quality of being deserving
  244. microscope
    magnifier of the image of small objects
  245. migrate
    move from one country or region to another and settle there
  246. miniature
    being on a very small scale
  247. minimum
    the smallest possible quantity
  248. minority
    being or relating to the smaller in number of two parts
  249. miserly
    characterized by or indicative of lack of generosity
  250. misfortune
    a state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
  251. molest
    harass or assault sexually; make indecent advances to
  252. monarch
    a nation's ruler usually by hereditary right
  253. morality
    the quality of being in accord with right or good conduct
  254. morgue
    a building or room where dead bodies are kept before burial
  255. morsel
    a small amount of solid food; a mouthful
  256. mortal
    subject to death
  257. mount
    go up, advance, or increase
  258. mourn
    feel sadness
  259. multitude
    a large indefinite number
  260. mumble
    talk indistinctly; usually in a low voice
  261. municipal
    relating to a self-governing district
  262. mute
    expressed without speech
  263. mythology
    the body of stories associated with a culture or institution
  264. narcotic
    a drug that produces numbness or stupor
  265. negative
    characterized by denial or opposition or resistance
  266. neglect
    leave undone or leave out
  267. neutral
    having no personal preference
  268. nimble
    moving quickly and lightly
  269. nominate
    propose as a candidate for some honor
  270. nourish
    provide with sustenance
  271. novel
    an extended fictional work in prose
  272. numb
    lacking sensation
  273. numerous
    amounting to a large indefinite number
  274. oath
    a solemn promise regarding your future acts or behavior
  275. obedient
    dutifully complying with the commands of those in authority
  276. obesity
    the condition of being excessively overweight
  277. observant
    quick to notice; showing quick and keen perception
  278. obstacle
    something that stands in the way and must be surmounted
  279. obtain
    come into possession of
  280. obvious
    easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind
  281. occupant
    someone who lives at a particular place for a long period
  282. opt
    select as an alternative over another
  283. oral
    using speech rather than writing
  284. outlaw
    a criminal, especially one on the run from police
  285. pacify
    ease the anger, agitation, or strong emotion of
  286. panic
    an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety
  287. parole
    a conditional release from imprisonment
  288. partial
    being or affecting only a segment
  289. patriotic
    inspired by love for your country
  290. pauper
    a person who is very poor
  291. pedestrian
    a person who travels by foot
  292. penalize
    inflict punishment on
  293. penetrate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
  294. pension
    regular payment to allow a person to subsist without working
  295. peril
    a state of danger involving risk
  296. perish
    pass from physical life
  297. persist
    refuse to stop
  298. persuade
    cause somebody to adopt a certain position or belief
  299. pierce
    penetrate or cut through with a sharp instrument
  300. pioneer
    one the first colonists or settlers in a new territory
  301. placard
    a sign posted in a public place
  302. plea
    a humble request for help from someone in authority
  303. pledge
    a binding commitment to do or give or refrain from something
  304. pollute
    make impure
  305. ponder
    reflect deeply on a subject
  306. popular
    regarded with great favor or approval by the general public
  307. population
    the people who inhabit a territory or state
  308. possible
    capable of happening or existing
  309. postpone
    hold back to a later time
  310. potential
    existing in possibility
  311. precaution
    a measure taken in advance to ward off impending danger
  312. precede
    be earlier in time
  313. predict
    tell in advance
  314. prejudice
    a partiality preventing objective consideration of an issue
  315. preoccupied
    having excessive or compulsive concern with something
  316. preserve
    keep in safety and protect from harm, loss, or destruction
  317. prior
    earlier in time
  318. probe
    an exploratory action or expedition
  319. proceed
    move ahead; travel onward in time or space
  320. prohibit
    command against
  321. prominent
    conspicuous in position or importance
  322. promote
    assign to a higher position
  323. prompt
    according to schedule or without delay
  324. prosecute
    conduct legal proceedings against a defendant
  325. prosper
    make steady progress
  326. provide
    give something useful or necessary to
  327. pursue
    follow in an effort to capture
  328. qualify
    prove capable or fit; meet requirements
  329. quantity
    how much there is or how many there are of something
  330. quarter
    one of four equal parts
  331. quench
    satisfy, as thirst
  332. quota
    a prescribed number
  333. quote
    repeat a passage from
  334. radical
    far beyond the norm
  335. rage
    a feeling of intense anger
  336. rapid
    characterized by speed
  337. rash
    imprudently incurring risk
  338. rave
    talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
  339. recede
    pull back or move away or backward
  340. recent
    of the immediate past or just previous to the present time
  341. reckless
    marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
  342. recline
    move the upper body backwards and down
  343. redeem
    exchange or buy back for money; under threat
  344. refer
    make a remark that calls attention to
  345. reform
    make changes for improvement to remove abuse and injustices
  346. refrain
    resist doing something
  347. rehabilitate
    help to readapt, as to a former state of health or repute
  348. reject
    refuse to accept or acknowledge
  349. related
    connected logically or causally or by shared characteristics
  350. relieve
    free from a burden, evil, or distress
  351. reluctant
    not eager
  352. repetition
    the act of doing or performing again
  353. reptile
    a cold-blooded vertebrate including snakes and lizards
  354. resent
    feel bitter or indignant about
  355. resign
    accept as inevitable
  356. resist
    withstand the force of something
  357. respond
    show a reaction to something
  358. resume
    take up or begin anew
  359. retain
    secure and keep for possible future use or application
  360. reveal
    make visible
  361. revise
    make changes to
  362. revive
    cause to regain consciousness
  363. rival
    the contestant you hope to defeat
  364. roam
    move about aimlessly or without any destination
  365. rural
    living in or characteristic of farming or country life
  366. sacred
    made or declared or believed to be holy
  367. scald
    burn with a hot liquid or steam
  368. scarce
    deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand
  369. scorch
    burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color
  370. scowl
    frown with displeasure
  371. security
    the state of being free from danger or injury
  372. sensitive
    responsive to physical stimuli
  373. severity
    excessive sternness
  374. shriek
    sharp piercing cry
  375. shrill
    having or emitting a high-pitched and sharp tone or tones
  376. signify
    denote or connote
  377. sinister
    wicked, evil, or dishonorable
  378. site
    the piece of land on which something is located
  379. skim
    remove from the surface
  380. slender
    having little width in proportion to the length or height
  381. sneer
    a facial expression of contempt or scorn
  382. soar
    rise rapidly
  383. solitary
    not growing or living in groups or colonies
  384. soothe
    cause to feel better
  385. source
    the place where something begins
  386. spontaneous
    said or done without having been planned in advance
  387. spouse
    a person's partner in marriage
  388. squander
    spend thoughtlessly; throw away
  389. stationary
    not capable of being moved
  390. subsequent
    following in time or order
  391. subside
    wear off or die down
  392. summit
    the top or extreme point of something
  393. surpass
    be or do something to a greater degree
  394. surplus
    a quantity much larger than is needed
  395. survive
    continue in existence after
  396. swarm
    a group of many things in the air or on the ground
  397. symbol
    something visible that represents something invisible
  398. sympathetic
    expressing compassion or friendly fellow feelings
  399. tact
    consideration in dealing with others
  400. talent
    natural abilities or qualities
  401. temperate
    not extreme
  402. tempest
    a violent commotion or disturbance
  403. tempt
    dispose, incline, or entice to
  404. tendency
    an inclination to do something
  405. theory
    a belief that can guide behavior
  406. thorough
    painstakingly careful and accurate
  407. threat
    declaration of an intention to inflict harm on another
  408. thrifty
    mindful of the future in spending money
  409. thrust
    push forcefully
  410. toil
    work hard
  411. topic
    the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
  412. torment
    intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
  413. torrent
    an overwhelming number or amount
  414. tradition
    a specific practice of long standing
  415. tragedy
    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
  416. traitor
    a person who says one thing and does another
  417. transmit
    send from one person or place to another
  418. transparent
    able to be seen through with clarity
  419. trifle
    a detail that is considered insignificant
  420. tumult
    a state of commotion and noise and confusion
  421. typical
    exhibiting the qualities that identify a group or kind
  422. tyrant
    a cruel and oppressive dictator
  423. unaccustomed
    not habituated to; unfamiliar with
  424. unanimous
    in complete agreement
  425. undeniable
    not possible to contradict
  426. underdog
    one who is at a disadvantage and expected to lose
  427. underestimate
    make too low an approximation of
  428. undernourished
    not getting adequate food
  429. undoubtedly
    certainly
  430. unearth
    recover through digging
  431. uneasy
    causing or fraught with or showing anxiety
  432. uneventful
    marked by no noteworthy or significant events
  433. unforeseen
    not anticipated
  434. unify
    join or combine
  435. unite
    join or combine
  436. unruly
    unable to be governed or controlled
  437. unstable
    subject to change; variable
  438. untidy
    not neat and tidy
  439. upholstery
    covering on a piece of furniture
  440. urban
    relating to a city or densely populated area
  441. urgent
    compelling immediate action
  442. utensil
    an implement for practical use
  443. utilize
    put into service
  444. utter
    without qualification
  445. vacant
    without an occupant or incumbent
  446. vaccinate
    produce immunity in by inoculation
  447. vague
    lacking clarity or distinctness
  448. vain
    having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  449. valiant
    having or showing heroism or courage
  450. valid
    well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force
  451. valor
    courage when facing danger
  452. vandal
    someone who willfully destroys or defaces property
  453. vanish
    become invisible or unnoticeable
  454. vapor
    a visible suspension in the air of particles of a substance
  455. variety
    a category of things distinguished by a common quality
  456. vast
    unusually great in size or amount or extent or scope
  457. vein
    a blood vessel that carries blood toward the heart
  458. ventilate
    furnish with an opening to allow air to circulate or escape
  459. venture
    an undertaking with an uncertain outcome
  460. verdict
    findings of a jury on issues submitted to it for decision
  461. verify
    confirm the truth of
  462. vermin
    any of various small animals or insects that are pests
  463. verse
    a piece of poetry
  464. vertical
    at right angles to the plane of the horizon or a base line
  465. vessel
    an object used as a container, especially for liquids
  466. vicinity
    a surrounding or nearby region
  467. vicious
    having the nature of evildoing
  468. victorious
    having won
  469. vigor
    forceful exertion
  470. villain
    someone who does evil deliberately
  471. violent
    acting with great force or energy or emotional intensity
  472. visible
    capable of being seen or open to easy view
  473. vision
    the ability to see
  474. vital
    performing an essential function in the living body
  475. vocation
    the particular occupation for which you are trained
  476. volunteer
    a person who performs work done by choice
  477. vulnerable
    capable of being wounded or hurt
  478. wad
    a small mass of soft material
  479. wager
    the act of gambling
  480. warden
    the chief official in charge of a prison
  481. wary
    marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
  482. wasp
    social or solitary hymenopterans typically having a slender body with the abdomen attached by a narrow stalk and having a formidable sting
  483. weary
    physically and mentally fatigued
  484. weird
    strikingly odd or unusual
  485. whirling
    the act of rotating in a circle or spiral
  486. wholesale
    the selling of goods to merchants
  487. witty
    demonstrating striking cleverness and humor
  488. wobble
    move sideways or in an unsteady way
  489. wrath
    intense anger
  490. wretched
    deserving or inciting pity
  491. skim
    remove from the surface
Created on March 25, 2012 (updated March 27, 2012)

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